All posts tagged: Hollywood

TV Review: TCM’s “Moguls & Movie Stars: A History of Hollywood”

Tonight, Turner Classic Movies (TCM) begins a seven week documentary series about the history of Hollywood. Moguls & Movie Stars: A History of Hollywood is an engrossing, wonderfully made series that will delight not only movie buffs, but also those interested in how the film business began, how it has evolved, and how it has circled back to its roots in recent years. Spanning from the invention of the first moving pictures to the counter culture films of the 1960s, Moguls & Movie also serves as a history of America, looking at how moviemakers responded to such major events as the Great Depression, World War II and the Civil Rights movement. 2 ½ years in the making, director Jon Wilkman’s intention for this series was to give a history of Hollywood power: Who had it, how they got it, and how they lost it.  The filmmaker wanted to highlight the incredible characters that created the movie industry, the moguls and the big stars. He also wanted to show how these bigger than life personalities interacted, …

Film Review: “Jennifer’s Body”

To Hollywood’s credit, there’ve been a lot of female-focused thriller/horror films coming out lately. It’s almost as if production studios in La-La Land have suddenly realized there’s a feminine demographic they could cater to/exploit. Unfortunately for the ladies, studios still think that they can just throw anything at audiences and get away with it, which is why so many of the recent “girl power”-type films have been lousy. The new horror/comedy Jennifer’s Body, written by Diablo Cody (instantly famous for penning the brilliant Juno) and directed by Karyn Kusama (AEon Flux and Girlfight, the latter of which bestowed upon the world the dubious gift of Michelle Rodriguez) is without a doubt the best of the bunch to come along thus far, although given its surprisingly uneven narrative, that’s not saying much. First off, for those of you who are wondering: yes, Kusama kept in the scene where the two leads Jennifer (Megan Fox) and her oddly named best friend Needy (Amanda Seyfried) share a “controversial” lesbian kiss. It’s in close-up, it’s almost two minutes long, …

The Bigger Picture: The Big Three, Part Three

We have now reached the last of a three part series concerning the three taboos of cinema. Thus far we have discussed the use of profanity and violence, leaving us left with only one subject to discuss, and the most mystifying topic of them all. The outrage over sex in film that is displayed in many circles seems quite ridiculous when viewed with a logical mind. Sex is the very beginning of life, an event from which we all sprang forth. Likewise, it is something we all naturally crave and seek out, even those who repress it. Why then are we all so afraid of it? Recently, there was a fascinating news story that sheds some light on this sociological puzzle. Chilean fashion designer Ricardo Oyarzun put on a show that included models dressed as the Virgin Mary, many with ample cleavage. Naturally, this sparked outrage from religious groups. Chile’s Episcopal Conference claimed that the fashion show would encourage people to view the Virgin as an “object of consumption.” As usual, this story can be …

The Bigger Picture: In Glorious 3D!

It is a time of economic turmoil. The markets are going berserk; reacting like the headless chickens we already knew them to be. Our nation faces numerous crises both domestically and overseas. And all the while, Hollywood is experimenting with a “new” trend to attract viewers, involving a pair of goggles that were only futuristic looking when Leave It To Beaver was considered edgy. Remarkably, I took in my first 3D movie last weekend when I went to a late-morning showing of Coraline. 3D has been around my whole life in various other instances, but those glasses really haven’t changed much at all. Hey, it’s cool to be retro. I recall getting those glasses with coloring books when I was very young. Even then I remember being very unimpressed. I always wondered if I was doing something wrong, sort of like those posters you have to squint at to see the poorly defined sailboat. Flash forward to the beginning of February. 3D glasses we being given away in grocery stores for Dreamworks’ Super Bowl promotion …